ARIZONA NEWS

UArizona president urges vaccination, mask use with semester starting soon

Aug 10, 2021, 4:15 AM

PHOENIX – The University of Arizona is urging students to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and wear face masks indoors when the fall semester begins with full in-person classes in two weeks.

UArizona President Robert Robbins detailed the Tucson school’s layered approach to COVID-19 mitigation during a livestreamed back-to-school update Monday. Aug. 23 is the first day of classes.

Robbins said it was “disheartening” that the ideas of masking and vaccination have become controversial.

“We are strongly encouraging masks in our indoor spaces, and particularly in our classrooms and laboratories,” he said.

“I want to be clear that I expect everyone to cover their face when they are indoors. It is my expectation that we respect each other and wear a mask in these areas to promote in-person learning in the most effective health and safety protocols.”

Masks will be required in university spaces where it’s allowed under state law, including health care facilities and labs, Robbins said.

He also said masks and cleaning supplies will be available in every classroom.

The school is also offering free COVID-19 diagnostic testing on campus, although it’s no longer mandatory as it was last year.

In addition, classrooms and other office spaces have been equipped MERV-13 air filters as part of the mitigation plan.

“We need to think of masking, vaccines and other measures as complimentary parts of the solution, not separate approaches,” he said. “Layering our strategies to minimize the risk to ourselves and others works best.”

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UArizona president urges vaccination, mask use with semester starting soon